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Paris Metro now has AI surveillance cameras to check if passengers wear masks

France is preparing to put into practice a deconfination plan as of 11 May. To ensure that the population is complying with the recommended security measures, such as the mandatory use of a mask in public spaces, surveillance cameras with artificial intelligence are being implemented in the Paris metro system.

RATP, the authority responsible for the Paris metro, started testing the technology developed by Datakalab at Chatelet-Les Halles central station three months ago, advances Bloomberg. The station is one of the busiest, being used by around 33 million passengers per year. RATP employees who are in charge of monitoring the new metro surveillance system will have access to a dashboard with the proportion of passengers who are wearing a mask.

Datakalab AI surveillance system dashboard credits: Datakalab

Although the technology can help French authorities to ensure that the population is complying with the new transport safety standards, CNIL has some reservations about its use. The French data protection authority says that Datakalab software poses risks to users' privacy, also questioning whether the technology is compatible with the General Data Protection Regulation.

In response, Xavier Fischer, CEO of Datakalab, stresses that the software does not collect data or store it. The official also explains that there is a 15-minute delay between the capture and the sending of the images to the authorities. RATP also states that it alerted CNIL to the use of the AI ??video surveillance system, clarifying that it will not be used to fine those who do not use the mask.